Revisiting Windermere with a Weekend Stay at the Ro Hotel
The Lake District holds a special place in my heart as it was where my husband Peter and I enjoyed our second honeymoon after our Greek Orthodox Wedding in Yorkshire, a year after we got married and honeymooned in South Africa.
That was 17 years ago now so revisiting Bowness-on-Windermere (the town on the shore of Winderemere) with our three children in tow, spanning a teen, tween and toddler was a full circle moment for us, if not somewhat surreal. The admission we really are grown ups now *wail hit us hard (ha) as we marvelled at the serenity of Lake Windermere, a place I’d made my relatively new, boat-averse husband take trips up and down its ten and a half mile tranquil waters, so many moons ago.
Peter and I have undoubtedly irrevocably changed (our kids are testament to that) yet two decades on, Lake Windermere (the largest lake in the UK) in Cumbria’s Lake District National Park with its postcard-pretty views, has remained almost exactly the same.
Surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, glacial ribbon lakes, quaint villages and market towns, its beauty is unparalled and I’m so happy my children could experience it too.
This time, we were staying at The Ro Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere, an elegant abode at the top of a hill, boasting breathtaking views of the lake and the rolling foothills of the Lake District beyond.
The hotel’s decor reflect its natural surroundings with a bold palette of vivid orange, deep blue and bright turquoise coupled with exposed walls and wooden beams.
This sunset is a case in point.
Back inside, our family suite was comparable to a spacious London flat with a freestanding bath taking centre stage in the ensuite, a Queen size bed with printed wildlife headboard in the master bedroom; a fold out double sofa bed for the boys in the lounge and a travel cot for our toddler.
Thanks to Zipster for this pretty wildflower print bamboo babygrow, another fitting piece which unitentionally matched the landscape and our new home for the weekend.
The balcony (which spanned both the lounge and the bathroom) made bathing in bubbles with a view and al fresco dining a no-brainer, and we settled in to our decadent surroundings with ease. Too quickly in fact, making leaving the hotel, hard.
With a considered layout, Pinterest-worthy decor (I’m stealing the navy and mustard theme for our new home) and thoughtful touches such as the natural, nourishing rose, jasmine and orange bath bombs and mineral bath salts elevated our already ‘room with a view’ bathtime experience. Utter bliss.
Breakfast comprised of everything brekkie and brunch-worthy making the bill as the photos below demostrate and we ate in the sprawling dining room one morning for breakfast and also for dinner, and a late breakfast in the art deco style bar on the morning we left.
Funnily, Xander, 10, helped himself to some coffee at breakfast (after enjoying a decaf cold latte at dinner the night before) which he surprisingly liked.
The food and service were excellent at dinner with special mentions for waiters, Robbie and Jake, whose kindness and attentiveness made us feel relaxed and looked after.
So, what did we eat in this most exquisite of family feasts?
Prawn and avocado cocktail with gem lettuce and Bloody Mary sauce, grilled goat’s cheese salad with beetroot and ginger chutney and steamed shredded duck dumplings with chilli and spring onions and sweet chilli sauce.
Succulent slow cooked shoulder of lakeland lamb with apricots and minted Hollandaise sauce, pan friend breast of Cumbrian chicken coated in parmesan breadcrumbs with sauteed cherry tomatoes with buttered linguine, crispy battered haddock and triple cooked chips, roasted beef tail fillet and shin of beef suet pudding with mash and glazed carrots, and chicken strips with chips for the toddler.
Local artisan cheeses (Brie, Smoked Cheddar and Creamy Lancashire with Hawkshead chutney), Sharrow Bay sticky toffee pudding, a selection of locally sourced ice cream and fresh fruit salad.
Their Espresso Martinis (with decaf shots due to the time of consumption and my fear of insombia) were the best I’ve ever ‘inhaled’. I slept soundly that night and I urge you to use my decaf cocktail hack for all of your Mums’ Nights Out if you don’t fancy lying awake until 3 am!
So aside from eating, what did we do in the daytime?
Whilst there was so much to do and see on our doorstep, we purposefully chose to take the slow lane, to walk mindfully across the Lake’s edge, to feed the friendly ducks and swans, to switch off from our phones as much as possible and to pay attention to one another and our surroundings with0ut the usual demands at home of school-runs and deadlines.
We scoffed local fudge and creamy ice cream, perused charity and souvenir shops when the rain drizzled on us and fully embraced holiday mode one hundred percent.
There’s no choice but to relax in Lake Windermere. The air is so fresh there it feels intoxicatingly pure. A local we got chatting to by the lake, thanks to her energetic dog above, mentioned friends of hers who live in other areas, often need to nap when they visit as the oxygen level seem to be higher in the Lake District as they are far from industry and factories.
I think she must be right as I fell fast asleep when Florence napped after our first walk there, which is quite unlike me.
Delicious, all the same.
Argh, we all seemed to take a collective exhale during our weekend away, and boy did we need it.
What a special place. Thank you to the Ro Hotel.
We’ll be back.
This was a complimentary weekend away but as always, my words are honest and my own.
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